Originally created 09/22/00

Epilepsy can be truly debilitating

I applaud the attention and information given to the disease of epilepsy in the Sept. 3 Chronicle. The support group started for children is a wonderful blessing and those involved should be commended for their labor of love.

The only problem with educating the public about the abilities of some of the more fortunate people with epilepsy is that many of those suffering from this disease cannot live the active and productive life that we are battling to regain.

Epilepsy is not always controlled by a single medication. Many of us who suffer from this disease are still trying to find a combination of drugs that will control our convulsions. We cannot drive, we have seizures daily or weekly, and we never know when an attack will hit or where. Companies won't hire us, and honestly, I understand why.

After The Chronicle story ran, I have been criticized for not being as able to function as well as the senator whose success story was given.

Please let your readers know that an epileptic taking over 800 milligrams of anti-seizure medication is often tired and has to deal with very uncomfortable side effects.

Epilepsy is caused by many things. In my case, it was brought on due to scar tissue and damage from surgery to remove a massive brain tumor which also left me with cognitive disabilities.

It was a wonderful article that gave the general public much needed information which may save the life of an epileptic, possibly mine. But that can leave the public with the impression that all suffers of this incurable disease are capable of holding down a job, or enjoy the peace of mind that so many people take for granted. Some like me are totally disabled.

Please encourage your readers to send donations to the Epilepsy Foundation which will help find a cure; or at least newer, safer, and more effective treatments. The battle is far from over.

It will be a service to your readers and those of us who need their understanding and support. We are not giving up, but we sometimes get discouraged.

Rev. Jerry H. Miller, Harlem


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